We are two months into marriage now and I feel luckier each and every day that passes. Of course, I know that marriage is hard, but I believe that the reason why we have such a great and strong relationship (marriage) is because of the fact that we have a good foundation. Now, don’t get me wrong – we still struggle as any couple does. I am finishing up grad school which puts an extra strain on our marriage, but it is so worth it in the end and I would not change anything for the world!
I want everyone to have a relationship like this: one that is worth jumping hoops for and one that is worth struggling a little bit, in order to come out of the dark tunnel, into the light. A healthy marriage really is a beautiful thing and because I want you all to have one, I wanted to share a few tips on building a good foundation for marriage. These tips are essential to have in any relationship, especially a marriage.
Open communication might just be the most important thing in a marriage. If you cannot communicate effectively, you will never have a thriving marriage. There are a few parts that go right along with open communication, in my opinion. Those parts are honesty, respect, and understanding. Let’s start with honesty. In order to communicate properly, you need to be honest. Don’t leave anything out just because you think your husband or wife will be upset. Get it all out on the table and be upfront and honest. The next part is respect. If you are on the other side, waiting for an explanation as to why something happened, respect your spouse and hear them out. Do not jump to conclusions before they get a chance to talk to you. The last part is understanding. If a mistake was made, you need to try to accept that and move on. If you are upset, do not yell. Calmly explain yourself and it will prove much better results in the end.
You know the saying “There is no I in team.” Well, this is exactly correct for a marriage. You are a team and you work together. The sooner you realize that you are a team, the better.
Marriage is a journey and you do not know exactly how to navigate every single life change together from the second you tie the knot, but you will learn along the way. Do not be afraid to admit that you do not know how to navigate a situation on your own. In fact, you could significantly benefit from having a third party listen to you and teach you what they think you could do to improve your relationship. They say that love is blind and sometimes, it’s true until you see an outsiders perspective. Visiting a professional counselor or therapist can help you and your significant other heal, strengthen their relationship, and go forward building a stronger marriage.
If you are in Georgia, you may be wondering where to go. I’ve found Ray of Hope Counseling Services because they have 7 locations all over Georgia, with one in Athens! They say, “For some people, couples counseling may transform their relationships and their lives; for others, it helps them solve a specific problem and move forward with more confidence and less anxiety. In a typical session, your counselor may ask you questions so that you can talk about what’s going on and how you feel. They may also offer you advice or ideas to try at home.” Founder and Clinical Director, Lynn Umstead is an expert when it comes to couples counseling, relationship issues, pre-marital counseling, and more, so if you are in the Metro-Atlanta area, you may want to reach out to her about marriage counseling at Ray of Hope Counseling Services.
Focus on The Family says, “We live in an instant world — fast foods, cash machines, computer access to information, direct dial communication all over the world.
The problem is we can’t heat up a marriage in the microwave. Relationships just don’t work that way. Marriage, especially takes time and care to become really beautiful. That means learning patience.
When you put two people — any two — in the same house, you’re going to have irritations and annoyances. There are times when I think God designed marriage just to teach me patience. My wife doesn’t always respond like I wish she would. And she still expects me to pick up my dirty clothes, be on time for dinner and remember her birthday. You’d think that after 30 years of marriage, she would have given up on me. In the meantime, I’m considering humoring her a little. Recently I even put my underwear on the floor next to the laundry hamper. I wonder how she’s doing with patience.
Beyond the day-to-day quirks and foibles, you must accept, patience is needed for the long haul. It may take years for you to develop the kind of relationship that’s satisfying to both of you. A lot of people don’t have the patience to wait around for things to evolve. But if you’re willing to sit tight and hang in there, your marriage can be fantastic.”
Last but not least, I believe that surprise is beneficial in a marriage. Surprise and fun in a marriage will ensure that you are not getting bored with the same routine and thing every day. Of course, it is good to know what to expect from your relationship, but surprise flowers, notes or a surprise trip every now and then definitely won’t hurt anyone!
If you like this post, check out 8 Tips to Strengthen Your Marriage.
If you have any additional recommendations for relationship tips that help build a strong foundation, comment them below 🙂